Awarding Body:EdexcelCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at A* - C including English and Maths.

Course Content

The AS RS course comprises of two units: Foundations and Investigations, each unit makes up 50% of the AS and will be assessed by an examination for both units.

Foundations: 50%

• The Relationship Between Morality and Religion
• Utilitarianism
• Situation Ethics
• Sexual Ethics/War and peace

• The Origins of Buddhism/Life & Background of the Buddha
• Key Buddhist Themes: Karma, Nirvana, The Three Fires, The Three Refuges, The Four Noble Truths
• Meditation

Investigations: 50%

This unit of the AS course encourages the student to develop their independent research skills. Students will investigate the topic of ethical concepts in the World Religions and assess the relevance or otherwise of these in the modern world. The unit is assessed by an extended essay which the student produces independently then reproduces under exam conditions.

Methods of Teaching

The approach to teaching and learning is student centred and the teachers use a variety of tasks and differentiation strategies. There will also be the opportunity to develop independent study through study packages and resource based learning.

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

The course is assessed by examination; candidates are required to sit two papers, one on Buddhism and the Ethics (1hr 45mins) and one on the investigations unit (1hr 15mins). Each paper makes up 50% of the AS grade. As well as this all students will be required to complete the essays set throughout the year by their teachers on each of the topic areas.


The A2 course is a development on the themes studied at AS, this will include:

Philosophy of Religion
• Religious Language
• Debates on the Non-Existence of God
• Life and Death
• Religious Experience

• Nirvana
• Buddhist Scriptures
• Mahayana Buddhism
• Buddhist Denominations/Pure Land/Zen
• Synoptic Unit

The subject encourages a deeper awareness and understanding of religion and its influence on society. It promotes an informed enquiry into religious traditions and thinking, irrespective of personal belief.

Financial Implications

Key texts will be provided by the department for use in lessons, however a reading list will be provided and it is recommended that at least two of these books are purchased. Research information will also be available for essay writing.

The RS department has run several trips to India, Thailand and Cambodia and will be continuing with these ventures in 2016 (destination to be confirmed).

Career Progression

This Advanced level qualification is an excellent Humanities qualification and will help gain entry into a wide range of Higher Education courses. Many of the skills developed through the course will relate to a wide range of careers, such as the Travel Industry, Public Relations, Journalism, TV and Radio, Police work, Medicine, Teaching and jobs where the management of people is important.

As an Advanced Level subject, R.S. links well with most other disciplines particularly in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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